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Ageing of elderly in Biscay: Active Ageing Index as a tool to monitor

Authors:

Yolanda González-Rábago ,

University of the Basque Country, ES
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Unai Martín,

University of the Basque Country, ES
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Amaia Bacigalupe,

University of the Basque Country, ES
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Sergio Murillo

Government of Biscay, ES
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Abstract

Introduction: The ageing of population entails important processes of social transformation, which constitutes and will constitute in the future one of the greater political and social challenges. The increase in the proportion of elderly people is especially important in some European regions. Among them, some regions like the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, with a relevant percentage of older people (20.7%), and subregions like in the case of Biscay (21.9%) are remarkable.

Because of this, the Government of Biscay has started to reflect on ageing and its consequences, making a diagnosis of the so-called active ageing situation of elderly population.  The Active Ageing Index (AAI) has been the chosen the tool to improve knowledge of the situation in Biscay, plan action design, identify gaps and monitor the effects of the policies.

Theory/method: The AAI aims at serving as an evidence tool to indicate the potential of older people for more active participation in economic and social life and for independent living. AAI includes four domains, employment; participation in society; independent, healthy and secure living; and capacity and enabling environment for active ageing, composed by 22 indicators. Since 2014, AAI has been calculated in the province of Biscay and the biannual measurement allows comparisons not only between the situation of old population (55 years and over) in Biscay and this population in the European Union countries (EU28), but also the evolution of this situation in Biscay between 2014 and 2018. 

results: results show a good situation of elderly people living in biscay, but with some differences depending on which dimension of active ageing we focus on. in this sense, employment domain and independent, healthy and secure living domain have a lower score than the average of the eu28 countries. on the other hand, biscay is performing well in social participation and capacity and enabling environments for active ageing. besides, the evolution of the index is clearly positive from 34.4 in 2014 to 38.8 in 2018. the improvement is mainly related to the increase in the employment rates for the age group 60-64, and in the political participation in the last two years. moreover, some gender inequalities appeared and women have worse situation than men in all domains.

Discussion and conclussion: Although the results show a positive situation and evolution, there is a great potential of improvement of the active ageing in our context. Monitoring the way in which people aged is key to improve the services provided and support policymakers to make decisions that contribute to a healthy and active ageing. AAI is an extraordinary instrument to identify gaps for improving the living conditions of elderly people for a better ageing and to reverse possible inequalities in later life.

limitations: Some small sample sizes avoid to analyze deeper the inequalities in active ageing among older people.

Suggestions for future research: Next steps include the assessment of concrete policies already applied to improve the performing of Biscay’s elderly population in some indicators of the AAI.

How to Cite: González-Rábago Y, Martín U, Bacigalupe A, Murillo S. Ageing of elderly in Biscay: Active Ageing Index as a tool to monitor. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2019;19(4):565. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.s3565
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Published on 08 Aug 2019.

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